CLEVELAND (WKBN) – Over the past month, 35 missing children have been found in Ohio during the U.S. Marshals’ Operation Safety Net. There are still five kids missing, including two from Youngstown.
Marshals have been working with state and local law enforcement to find missing kids from the Cleveland area.
All of the kids they found were between 13 and 18 years old.
They were found in Cleveland, Euclid, Akron, Mansfield, Columbus and Miami, Florida.
A little more than 20% were tied to human trafficking cases.
“This was new, uncharted territory and the first time we conducted an operation like this,” said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott. “I am very proud of our law enforcement, community and media partners who worked tirelessly to bring our missing and most vulnerable children to safety.”
Of the five still missing, two of them are 17-year-old Leantwana Bates (5’3″ tall, 135 pounds) and 15-year-old Yalonda Bates (5’3″ tall, 100 pounds), both from Youngstown. They were reported missing April 18, 2020. They are believed to be near the east side of Cleveland.
The others are 16-year-old Ja-NiyaScott-Lee, of Cleveland, 16-year-old Alicia Jackson, of Berea, and 16-year-old Issac Ortiz, of Lorain. They are all believed to be in the greater Cleveland area.
If you have any information on where they might be, call the U.S. Marshals tip line at 1-866-492-6833.
Based on the results of Operation Safety Net, a permanent missing child unit through the 40 counties of Northern Ohio has now been created to focus on missing, abused, neglected and trafficked children.
“The establishment of a permanent unit in Northern Ohio will ensure that our most vulnerable missing children will continue to be found and brought to safety,” Elliott said.
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